What are the Effects of Vote Buying on Nigeria’s Democratic Process?
The obvious outcome of vote buying is that it is gradually becoming the bane of democracy in Nigeria. For a democratic nation, the electorates are slowly losing their voting power by exchanging it for money and other material things. And by so doing, there is a big distortion and hindrance to the idea of a free and fair election that ensures that the electorates elect the leaders they deem fit to rule them.
Since parties have begun buying their ways into victories, people are beginning to find their voting power useless and are instead trading it for material things. Not only are they seeing it as a means to gain money or other things of monetary value, some are referring to it as a means to also eat in the national cake that politicians are enjoying.
The rampant spread of vote buying is acting as a catalyst for the destruction and death of democracy in the country and also acting as a hindrance to the possibilities of good governance in the country. Political parties that can’t provide capable candidates that can govern the country but can afford to buy votes are now using this means as a way to buy their candidates into power. The obvious outcome is that there is the highest possibility those position falls into the wrong hands.
As a result of vote buying, the electoral process has become very expensive. Candidates now think that without money and their ability to pay their way into people’s hearts one way or the other, they wouldn’t win elections. As a result of this, candidates that are likely to succeed at governing the country give up on the thought before they even try. For candidates that can afford the monetary implications of contesting for a political position, they get into power and see it as a means to get the money they lost during the electoral process and in the process, they forget to do what they have been elected into power to do.
For a country whose citizens have been chanting “we want change”, vote buying has been acting as a veil that is blocking their eyes from reality. They are only seeing a means of gaining money and being blinded to the outcome of the choice they make regarding who they elect into power. How do expect change to occur when you’ve traded in your power to bring in change for money? How can change happen if money has made you give power to the wrong person?
Akintayo, Ilorin, Kwara State.
It depends. If vote buying falls in the hands of the preferred candidate, the one whom we think and know will do well in terms of growth and development of the economy. But in a perfect and developed country, where things are good, vote buying is not really necessary. Our structure here won’t and will never allow the right person to seat on the seat of governance. So to let it go slide at first I think we should, and then apparently we do it free and fair. There is need to avoid sentiment, religion and culture.
Valentine Onukwe, Lagos
Never, vote buying prevents the best many times from getting to lead a people. Democracy should naturally come with some freedom and when inducements come in, the entire process has been defeated. I reckon that the major pre-condition for selfless government is that elections must be conducted without inducements. If politicians pay through their noses to get to power, it’s logical to recoup their money and rape more to meet our needs in coming elections. It becomes somewhat a mutual hostility.
Sunday Abire, Akure, Ondo State.
Voting buying with destroy the consciousness of people. It will make a mess of our democracy.
Chinyere Okoroafor, Lagos.
Vote buying has kept us in these ancient days we are living compared to other developed countries. We have all resources to develop our country, yet we sell our future for financial aid. In as much as vote buying exists, Nigeria will never be able to compete with other countries of the world, because only incompetent leaders offer to buy vote.
Godwin Ebidame, Akure, Ondo State.
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